Performed outdoors in the Harry Bridges Memorial Park, overlooking the ocen and city skyline.
A campfire opera under a blanket of stars, drawing from the ancient tradition of storytelling, recounting the tale of Tibetan King Gesar, who emerges as a warrior of the human heart and champion of enlightenment.
Mitisek, who is LBO's artistic and general director, divided the narration between Danielle Marcelle Bond and Roberto Perlas Gomez and added dancers Javier Gonzalez and Kelly Ray. The stage was a small, two-tiered platform with the dancers atop — their job was to convey a sense of ritual or, behind a sheet, provide a shadow play for a battle scene. –– LA Times
‘King Gesar’ floats by the sea. ...only about 55 minutes long, is not really an opera at all, but a “monodrama” for narrator (who occasionally sings) and a small instrumental ensemble. Andreas Mitisek, the company’s artistic director, and stage director and production designer for “Gesar,” fleshed it out a bit, adding a second narrator and a pair of dancer/narrators, who stylishly acted out the tales in mime, which in the end seemed wholly appropriate. The performance was quite effective.
A production of a Peter Lieberson work intended to evoke traditional Tibetan storytelling benefits from Andreas Mitisek's staging. Mitisek's modest staging and the two effective narrators demonstrated that there really is theater implied in every second of "Gesar."
There is always the temptation to overdo the stage action in pieces which were designed without that in mind, but Mitisek adds just the right amount of movement. The twin Narrators used spare and straightforward moves to illuminate the text, while the poses struck by the Dancers heighten the ritualistic aspects of the drama.
Conductor: Kristof Van Grysperre
Stage Director/Production Design: Andreas Mitisek
Sound Designer: Bob Christian
Narrator: Danielle Marcelle Bond
Narrator: Roberto Perlas Gomez
Dancer/Narrator: Javier Gonzalez
Dancer/Narrator: Kelly Ray